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WP: Life of the Party Turns Wallflower (Clinton Lets Kerry Have His Moment

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:21 PM
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WP: Life of the Party Turns Wallflower (Clinton Lets Kerry Have His Moment
BOSTON, July 25 -- One way to keep a supporting actor from stealing the show is to keep him squirreled away on the sidelines. So it is that the Clintons, who arrived for the Democratic convention late Sunday morning, have agreed to exile themselves to a hotel in Cambridge, so they won't "overshadow" the Kerrys, a few local papers have reported.

Unfortunately, Cambridge is only a 10-minute cab ride away, and former presidents don't spend too much time in their hotel rooms. So the strategy turns out to be a case of wishful thinking, something like hoping that if only the Yankees would get out of the way and hang out in Newark, everyone in New York could get really psyched up about the Mets.

In this case, it turns out to have had the opposite effect. Bill and Hillary Clinton are staying at the Charles Hotel, owned by developer Richard Friedman, the one who used to lend them his secluded compound on Martha's Vineyard. Their presence has attracted to the hotel Madeleine Albright, as well as Ben Affleck and Danny Glover, the real stars of the convention. (Barbra Streisand was supposed to come but had to start shooting her new movie.)

So now Clinton finds himself in a position he could not have imagined when he was a chubby kid in Arkansas: at the center of cool.

For Clinton this convention is like the best high school reunion ever: all of his old friends gathered in one place, throwing him parties (Elaine and Jerry Schuster and 500 admirers), lots of people who'll want to sit around until long after midnight and hash over the good old days, down to the last delicious detail: "It was unbelievable!" he reminisces to a woman who came to his book signing Sunday afternoon at a Boston Barnes & Noble. "In the Illinois primary's 14 southernmost counties, I got 70 percent of the vote!"

But unfortunately he'll have to leave the party early: Monday night he'll give the convention's opening speech, where he plans to "make my case for Kerry and the decision before the American people," he says. Then Tuesday morning he splits, and heads back to New York.

Would he overshadow Kerry at the convention? one reporter asks.

"No. I'm gonna give a talk and get out of town," he answers.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-25-04 10:27 PM
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1. It's pretty exciting when you think about it...
The Democrats I mean. They have all these really neat People and most will be in Boston! It really helped that I watched them getting ready today, on c-span.
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